Lifewise and DDB NZ create the House of Cars to encourage landlords to open their hearts + homes

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 8.34.35 am.jpgDDB and Goodoil have launched an immersive experience of homelessness in support of Auckland-based social agency Lifewise. The campaign calls on landlords to consider opening their rental property portfolios to those most in need.

The focal point of this campaign is an installation at Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, outside the ANZ Events Centre. The 'House of Cars' immerses visitors in the experience of what it's like to be forced to live in your car. The House is open from 10am-7pm every day until 19 December, 2018.

The aim of the installation is to provide an eye-opening experience in the heart of the country's most affluent business centre, driving home the message that many everyday Kiwis could end up in the same situation if disaster struck in their household.
Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 8.34.48 am.jpgMuch of the foot traffic across the installation period is expected to be people Christmas shopping or on their way to Christmas parties and it's hoped the House of Cars will give them compelling food for thought.

The interactive installation is made of pieces of reclaimed car parts and its interior tells the moving stories of real Kiwis who'veScreen Shot 2018-12-14 at 8.35.01 am.jpg found themselves without roofs over their heads.
Moira Lawler, CEO of Lifewise, says there is a waiting list of Kiwis in critical need who she would love to see housed over the holidays.

Says Lawler: "We know this is an expensive time of year when many organisations are asking you to dig intoScreen Shot 2018-12-14 at 8.35.14 am.jpg your pockets - we're not doing that. We're asking you to give your fellow Kiwis a chance.

"If you have a suitable property, please get in touch with us. You'll receive market rent, tenancy management services and, most importantly, you'll change someone's life at what can be a very difficult time of year."

Lawler says there is need for homes of all kinds, but in particular there is high demand for one and two bedroom properties in Auckland Central as well as West and South Auckland.

Damon Stapleton, DDB CCO, says working on this project has been a humbling experience for the team and he's hopeful that 60 landlords will put their hands up before Christmas.

Says Stapleton: "The team at Goodoil have built something really powerful and confronting. You can't experience it without putting yourself in the shoes of those who have been through this personally. Here's hoping it works its socks off."

To find out more about how you can help, and learn more about Lifewise, visit

Chief Executive Officer: Moira Lawler
Marketing and Fundraising: Darragh O'Riordon
Communications Specialist: Aditya Kundalkar
Creative Agency: DDB
Production Company: Goodoil
Activation and PR: Mango
VFX: Blockhead
Sound: Liquid Studios


Calling it said:

So let me get this right: a container with cars stuck on the side with an expensive interior fitout planted on a wharf miles from the shopping area of downtown is supposed to convert landlords (like myself) to hand over the keys to my property for a homeless family?
I’ve a better idea. The most persuasive message was hidden in the Herald article on Saturday. It said that all damages and problems caused by the tenants will be covered by Lifewise. Which gets me over the line as a landlord.
Being part of a landlord association, a simple letter, email or presentation would have been shit loads more effective than this ‘just in time for award deadlines’ semi scam.
But hey, there are creative director kpi’s to meet.
I’ve no problem with the client. Just saddened by an agency with a different agenda.

appreciate the commentary said:

The housing first initiative has been in play for several years now - the issue was twofold. first of all, there is a lack of awareness about the programme and its benefits, second of all, there's a perception from landlords that if they put their homes forward, it will be rented to a drug addict/someone with a mental disorder, and regardless of the costs being covered that quickly falls into the too hard basket.

What this installation aims to do is A) show people what it's like for the nearly 50 percent of auckland's homeless living in cars and B) that those living in cars are often simply normal families and individuals who have fallen through the cracks - not the same risk as a mum and dad investor might perceive of someone labelled as homeless.

there are multiple rental companies/managers that have so far got involved, and if you're part of the landlords association please get in touch - we'd love the help.

Really? said:

To draw attention to people losing their houses and having to live out of their cars, we're going to build a house out of cars and call it the House of Cars. Yeeesh. Gotta agree with "Calling It". I love Lifewise and the work they do is invaluable to our city, which is why it's such a crime for DDB to have used their plight as an opportunity to create this poorly thought-out monstrosity.

hmmm said:

Seems quite spacious for a car.

Calling it said:

'Commentary' - Thank you for your kind reply and offer.
But with the looming changes with the tenancy laws I’ve already secured decent long-term tenants paying a nice whack in terms of rental income. The tenants won't destroy the place (at least based upon my gut feel), won’t have a million pets roaming through the place or have the extended family housed in the garage with a make-shift blue tarp acting as shelter when the door is raised.
But back to the experience…I mean scam.
You were sold a pup. I sincerely mean that.
Wealthy landlords working in the city take cabs to Christmas lunches/parties - they don’t walk through a desolate part of the wharf. Whomever sold you on that media choice needs to be fired.
This idea won’t work or get you the results you need (I still maintain the NZHerald piece did a far better job than this stunt). Sympathy only extends so far - money/cost/mitigating potential damage will be the deciding factors
I, personally, would have put this in the brief and should have been the focus.
You were sold a pup. Hope you didn’t pay a lot of money for it.
Next time you have a brief like this, get a number of points of views from different agencies (many would fall over themselves to work on this).

I wish you the best of luck finding landlords (cynicism aside, I really do mean it).

Play Nice said:

Surely anything that draws attention to the issue, even if's just one Herald media article and the streams of people that walk over the drawbridge, is a good thing? I thought part of what we do is take a thought, blow it up to attract attention, then communicate the message in some way? Ideally with something that's moving and memorable?


just rode past it. had to stop and wait for the drawbridge. looked at it the thing and wonder what it was - but not enough wonder for me to effortlessly glide over and take a closer look. from a small distance, in the location it's in, it looks like some tourism 'wacky new zealanders have built some kooky thing' gig. i'm with calling it, the creative is kind of OK. The media is a f&*k up

Lover said:

I live in my car. Chicks dig it.

What a Load of Wank said:

Ah, did you ever think of just, like, getting a real homeless family to drive their car/shelter down to the city and draw attention to it there? Would actually make sense. Na too straight! Didn't think that would get your Cannes judge mates over the line? No doubt you'll lobby for this and it'll probably pick up something. And when it does, find a family living in a car, knock on their window and tell them you like to give them a really useful dashboard ornament. They'll be over the moon!

BishBashBosh said:

What about people living in a vacuum?

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